Grantham was a relative unknown in recruiting circles when Clemson jumped in with an offer late in his senior year at Martinsburg High School in West Virginia. At the time, there were a few other high-major candidates, including West Virginia.
In pursuit of more options, Grantham went the prep school route. He reclassified and enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy.
By the time he arrived to Chatham, Va., Grantham was a national recruit. Michigan, UConn and Texas were among the new suitors.
"Everybody in the country was hunting him down," Brownell said.
A strong showing with D.C. Assault on the AAU circuit caused the spike in interest.
"When you saw him play in that environment…he just played at a very good level," Brownell said.
That's what the Clemson coaches feared would happen when Donte Grantham opted not to commit during his first visit to Tigertown.
"The only problem with his visit to Clemson that time is, I think, we were on a break, and we didn't have a lot of players around," Brownell said. "K.J. [McDaniels] was here, hosted him and we had a good, but he didn't get a true feel of our team, so I think that, too, kind of just made him a little hesitant to pull the trigger.
Brownell "was a little surprised" a commitment wasn't made.
"We heard about him, followed up. Steve [Smith] went and saw him play, kept the heat on," Brownell said. "As soon as we lost in the ACC Tournament, the next day I was up at his high school. I think it was a semifinal or a quarterfinal game, watched him, liked him, got him down on an official visit, offered him a scholarship."
Despite the new offers, Grantham "stayed true" to Clemson.
"He was always positive. He never stopped taking calls," Brownell said. "We followed him everywhere at every tournament. We always had a guy there. Through it all, they felt very comfortable with our coaches. We worked it really hard."
Grantham committed to Clemson over Michigan on Oct. 4.
"I think he wanted to be loyal to us. I think he felt loyal to the relationship," Brownell said. "I think he sees himself being a good player here. I think he thinks we're in a position to where there are some good things really starting to happen here. He believes in what we're doing and he's excited about taking it to the next level."
Patience pays off
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